Social Anxiety Telehealth Therapy Study


The COVID-19 pandemic has substantially increased the risk of adverse mental health outcomes; while physical distancing is required to reduce infection risk, it also increases loneliness and isolation and prevents access to traditional in-person therapy, which further contribute to risk of adverse mental health outcomes. These problems may be especially acute for individuals with social anxiety disorder (as many as 12% of Americans), however there is a limited evidence-base for telehealth options to directly address social anxiety. This project aims to adapt exposure therapy for social anxiety to a telehealth and physical distancing-compatible intervention, and test whether this effectively decreases loneliness in adults with elevated social anxiety.

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: N/A
    • Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Treatment
    • Masking: None (Open Label)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: March 1, 2021


  • Behavioral: Telehealth CBT
    • The Coordinated Anxiety Learning and Management (CALM) program is an evidence-based, computer-assisted protocol for cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for anxiety, depression, and/or post-traumatic stress. CALM will be implemented via secure and HIPAA compliant video-conferencing software (enterprise Zoom), following modifications to address obstacles associated with physical distancing and the tele-health medium.

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Experimental: Telehealth Therapy

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS)
    • Time Frame: 12 weeks
    • Social anxiety severity
  • Satisfaction with Therapy and Therapists Scale (STTS)
    • Time Frame: 12 weeks
    • Therapy satisfaction subscale
  • UCLA Loneliness Scale version 3
    • Time Frame: 12 weeks
    • Loneliness

Secondary Measures

  • Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS)
    • Time Frame: 24 weeks
    • Social anxiety severity
  • UCLA Loneliness Scale version 3
    • Time Frame: 24 weeks
    • Loneliness

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • Age 18+,
  • Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS) total score > 50
  • Fluent spoken and written English
  • Access to the internet via a smartphone or computer with a camera
  • Ability to provide informed consent.

Exclusion Criteria

  • History of mania or psychosis
  • Moderate or severe substance use disorder within the past year
  • Current psychiatric diagnosis of greater impairment than that arising from social anxiety
  • High risk for suicide (>8 on the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview suicidality section)
  • Prior exposure therapy (more than 2 sessions)
  • Current psychotropic medication use
  • Current psychotherapy other than couples counseling.

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 18 Years

Maximum Age: N/A

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • Stanford University
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Tali Manber Ball, PhD, Instructor – Stanford University
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Tali Ball, PhD, Principal Investigator, Stanford University
  • Overall Contact(s)
    • Tali Ball, PhD, 650-723-2686,

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